Another train wreck at a crossing. On Thursday June 29, 2017, I was watching the news locally and learned a person has been killed at train crossing. According to the news a tow truck was hit by the train. Here is the site for the news station: http://wkrg.com/2017/06/29/breaking-truck-vs-train-crash-in-mobile-county/ In that cite is a photograph of sign warning against a low boy trailer trying to cross. That same sign was at the crossing in Biloxi where the tour bus was hit by a train killing 4 people and injuring a number of others. My firm is involved in that case.
I have not seen any further news giving any further details about the wreck. Why are these train tracks so high where the public is trying to cross? Was it part of the design? If so, why would a train company design such a high track? Did they just raise it as time went on while maintaining the track? Is a sign about no lowboy trailers sufficient to warn a driver? According to the videos and photographs from the news, there are no warning lights or a gate to stop vehicles when a train is approaching? Why not? How is a driver who is not pulling a lowboy to know whether his vehicle will make it over a hump?
I previously posted a blog that Alabama ranks among the top states in the nation in the number of railway incidents involving highway crossings. I found a website in Alabama for Alabama Operation Llfesaver http://www.alol.org/ . That organization has not posted any information since 2012. Here is what they reported regarding Alabama railroad crossing crashes involving motor vehicle with trains:
ALABAMA 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
CRASHES 60* 43 69 70 84 104 127 113 114
DEATHS 5* 5 8 4 10 15 11 16 10
INJURIES 33* 23 29 27 34 39 49 47 36
*apparently these were estimates as the report was issued before final tallies were in.
I wish these figures were different. I doubt they have improved since 2012. Sad. The railroads know their failures to warn and their track crossings are dangerous. Why don’t they do more to protect innocent lives?
Civil litigation attorney Billy Cunningham practice concentrates on personal injury, wrongful death, nursing home abuse, business litigation, environmental law and insurance matters. He is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Alabama and Mississippi, as well as in the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.